Compassion is our theme this month. I learned the distinction between empathy and compassion from reading our Soul Matters materials. “Compassion (to suffer with) is an innate part of human response to suffering, which is comprised of a three-part experience of noticing another’s pain, feeling with another (empathy), and responding in some way.” So, compassion is feeling with and then acting on alleviating suffering. It’s the action part that makes compassion different. When I read that it made me even moreproud of the members of our Youth Group and the worship service they did on Church as Change Agent. They feel so much for the suffering of others and are called and are calling us to step forward into that pain. They want to salve the wounds of the world,get to the root causes and change the conditions. We are going to talk over the summer about how to do that, especially as it applies to homelessness.

This is the time of year to celebrate our children and youth for how they have grown and all that they have learned. We blessed the rising 8thgraders Jackson Huang, Miles Martinez and Bennett Penney during the youth worship service. They will be joining our amazing Youth Group. We will celebrate the young children and middle schoolers during Flower Communion and give them an opportunity to tell us what they think is important about church. Make a sign, take a picture and send it to me for our June 7 Sunday service. Please also make a video as per Music Director, Beth Syverson’s directions.

The children and youth have been guided and supported by an enthusiastic and dedicated group of volunteer teachers! This church is ever so fortunate to have them. PreK-3rdgrade: Tatiana Houser, Jazzie Pendarvis, Julie Crawford, Briana Malone, Yulis Ayton and Jacques Kilchoer. The 4th-7thgrade team: Cindy Baker, Jacques & Elizabeth Kilchoer, Gabrielle Block, Betty Hogan, Maria Goode and Jonathan Magoon Pearson. Youth Group leaders are Intern Minister Rica Kaufel, Birdie Reed, Rob Gordon, Dale Osborne and Rob Penney. I am grateful to get to know and work with such generous souls!

This is a month of celebrations. On June 7 we will celebrate Flower Communion as a whole congregation. Children and youth will attend the Sunday service (no RE classes). You are all invited to take part with still pictures of children and middle schoolers sharing what is important about Religious Education/Exploration and by sending us a flower sharing video. On June 14 we will celebrate Pride Month and on June 21 we will celebrate a reenactment of the Poor People’s March on Washington led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The reenactment is being organized the Rev. Dr. William Barber II.

With a spirit of compassion and celebration,
Rev. Judy